Saturday, September 27, 2008

Relay Replay Press

I've been thinking about this a lot for the last couple of weeks—how to continue the project with seniors after this year. My RACC grant was for 2008 and covered my working with 4 seniors. If you've been following this blog, you'll know that it's been a pretty incredible experience, although at times pretty frustrating, especially at the beginning.

When I mentioned to the Good Prince that I'm considering starting a press just to work with seniors with dementia, he was surprised that I'd do that, considering the amount of frustrations I've had. However, given that I think it's just such a fabulous idea, and now that I've figured out some of the kinks of the project, I think going forward things will be better. And most of all, it's so worth doing.

Now that I know I need to work closely with families and to institute limits (both time & material), I think I can manage it better. In my projects this year, I also did set limits, but because I was mostly working directly with the seniors (who couldn't remember those limits), my limits went out the door with the first 2 seniors. After that, it didn't seem fair to limit the subsequent seniors to my original caps, so I just kind of gave up on that.

So anyhow, here's my thinking on establishing the Relay Replay Press (I liked the show title so much I've decided to use it for the press name):

Relay Replay Press 1.0


Using a variety of media, work with senior citizens at various stages of memory loss to create artists books.

2009 Goals

1. Keep the momentum going, but work with just 2 seniors for the year instead of 4 (I need to paint & garden!)

2. Work with families directly rather than with a facility. Work with the Alzheimer's Association.

3. Continue to use the gocco, along with painting and collage, as the primary media. (I think there's enough stockpile gocco supplies to do this.)

4. At least have the materials cost be paid for, either by the families or through donations. Would like to have some of my time paid for, if at all possible.

5. Consider applying for grants for late 2009 and 2010.

2010 Goals

1. Investigate solar plate and table top etching press as alternatives to gocco.

2. Work with 2 seniors for the year.

3. Evaluate the long term viability of the press as a non-profit organization.

4. Get serious about the funding issue (ie, pay for my time, in addition to materials).

5. Evaluate whether to expand the press by involving other artists, volunteers, etc.

2011 and Beyond

Of course, this completely depends on how it goes in 2009 and 2010, but I can see this growing way beyond what I can do myself, ie, becoming a non-profit with a board, executive director, and volunteers. Perhaps similar to the IPRC model or the P:EAR model, but focused on the elderly, and each senior is matched with an artist to work one on one.

Need to Research

For the 4 books I'm doing in 2008, I'm keeping 13 copies of the books (each senior gets 7), with the idea that there's a market for them in library collections and that I'd be able to sell them.

This is not yet a proven thesis, but if there is a market for the books, that would be a source of funding.

But if there is no market for these books, then there's no point in producing more books than the seniors and their families will want. That will help reduce the materials cost and also amount of time required.

If I Get Really Ambitious

Jordan Schnitzer, of the Schnitzer clan, is a big printmaking fan. Has a print collection, and also sits on the board of Rose Schnitzer Manor (where I've been working with the seniors). So he's where printmaking and the elderly are intersecting! Maybe I should see if he'll fund it, back the non-profit, and hey, why not, start a company to continue manufacturing gocco supplies!?


Anonymous said...

As I said before, I'm really surprised you'd want to do this in the beginning and now beyond! Since you are, I think you should move part of the the 2010 goal to 2009. You know start to investigate the alternative way before you actually run out of supply. And I think you can get really ambitious by starting your own gocco supply company! BTW, I found that pink rubber pad that I've been looking for. Apparently I've packed it with kids' stuff and they just figured out that's what I've been looking for.


fingerstothebone said...

I'm not sure why you were so surprised that I'd want to do this at the beginning? I guess it is a little surprising that I want to continue doing it, and I did just decide to. But I figured out how I can do it and not let it become my whole life, I think, I hope.

But anyhow, I purposely put the investigation of the alternatives to 2010 because I want to paint in 2009. I'm already committed to working with another painter on a collaboration, so that's not negotiable. This was committed back in June!

gl. said...

wow! what an ambitious undertaking! i hope it works out: if anyone can do it, you can! let me know if you want help negotiating for the gocco manufacturing company. ;)